There’s a well-loved mecca for outdoor fun just minutes away from suburban life in Marin County. Imagine a hub where you can do it all—horseback riding, mountain biking, camping and hiking beginning at the same trailhead. Tennessee Valley is coastal California at it's finest. With rustic charm and incredible convenience, it’s notorious for after work summer sunset runs. Prepare to hear and see wildlife, brush up against native plants, and climb to panoramic views of rolling hills and Bay waters. Tie your hiking laces tight, and slather sunscreen on thick, this trail run will surely make time stand still.
What Makes It Great
Tennessee Valley is simply the best because of its location. An easy five-minute jaunt from the infamous Highway One gets you into the heart of coastal country. Fifty-foot eucalyptus trees creak and sway in the afternoon ocean breeze,wild turkeys occasionally cross the single track trails, and it’s surprising to know that civilization is just around the corner.
The adventure beings at sea level on the Miwok trail. A narrow dirt path subtly leads you up a steady one-mile vertical climb, while you dodge rocks and tree roots to the summit. Starting underneath tree canopies, the trail quickly opens up to full sun and incredible views of the San Francisco Bay to one side, and the Pacific Ocean peering between rolling hills to the other. Listen close and you’ll likely hear packs of coyotes crying loud. Look up and you’ll likely see hawks, harriers, vulcans and eagles slipstreaming above. Prairie grass will brush your ankles, and the occasional reptile may creep across the trail--you’re deep in Mother Nature on this run. Twenty minutes later and you’re a mile higher than you started. The path continues for those yearning for more, otherwise it’s back down the trail for an epic run just under an hour.
Who is Going to Love It
Runners of all levels who want a quick, easy day out on the trails.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Tennessee Valley is 12 miles from downtown San Francisco. From Highway 101, take the Highway One/Stinson Beach exit. At the second stoplight turn left on Tennessee Valley Road. Thursdays-Sundays a farm stand sits on the corner and sells local fruit and nuts for good post-run fuel. For two miles drive a winding road until you hit the trailhead. Parking is plentiful and rustic bathrooms smell clean and stay open until dark. Pets are only allowed on certain trails and it’s marked where they aren’t welcome. Come one, come all sunrise until sunset.